Thanks for Your Service

Thank you, Veterans


And in “THANKS-GIVING”, I want to replay a Civil War song that encapsulates my feelings about the service and sacrifice you made for OUR GREAT COUNTRY. (Please accept the updating of the original lyrics.)

When Johnny and Joanie come marching home again, Hurrah! Hurrah!
We’ll give them a hearty welcome then, Hurrah! Hurrah!
The men will cheer and the boys will shout. The ladies they will all turn out.
And we’ll all feel great when Johnny and Joannie come marching home.

The old church bell will peal with joy, Hurrah! Hurrah
to welcome home our darling girl and boy. “Hurrah! Hurrah”
the village lads and lassies say. With roses they will strew the way.
And we’ll all feel great when Johnny and Joannie come marching home.

Get ready for the Jubilee, Hurrah! Hurrah!
We’ll give the hero three times three, Hurrah! Hurrah!
The laurel wreath is ready now to place upon their loyal brow.
And we’ll all feel great when Johnny and Joannie come marching home.

Also from the Civil War era (and a little beyond), on our visit to the re-opened St. Petersburg Museum of History, I found a 3,000-year-old mummy dubbed “Lady of the Nile.”

In the new “Odditorium,” which houses the mummy, I also got to see Geronimo’s signature, Gen. George Armstrong Custer’s reading glasses, and a necklace made of hair from President Millard Fillmore’s family.

Custer Glasses, ca. 1839-1876
These reading glasses were believed to be worn by Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer. A Union officer during the Civil War, Custer’s fame came from his “Last Stand” at the Battle of Little Bighorn during the American Indian Wars – where he met his demise. Though no photos exist of him wearing glasses, Custer was known to be concerned about his appearance and it is not out of the question that he donned these when out of the public eye.

In closing, I’m pleased to announce that my mystery-thriller novel, “The Custer Conspiracy” was awarded the prestigious Silver Medal by the Military Writers Society of America.

Thank you for your on-going support of my writing craft. I would be pleased to autograph and personalize any book you purchase through my shopping cart on this website.

Saving History One Story at a Time


Last week’s post was about my journey to San Antonio to meet, for the first time, my new friends from the Military Writers Society of America, and to pick up their prestigious award for my novel The Oath. This week I want to share with you some of my experiences with the MWSA.

As I said in my blog last week, the MWSA is comprised of interesting and talented people. What I forgot to tell you is what good people they are. Just one example among many: Bob Doerr, the Society’s Veep, and a half-dozen members arrived in San Antonio a day early to put on a free, all-day writing seminar at the Audie L. Murphy VA Hospital. And this was not just a random act of kindness on the Society’s part. Besides sponsoring workshops at other VA facilities nationwide, members are encouraged to donate copies of their books to VA hospitals near where they live.

The 2017 Military Writers Society of America Conference itself featured two days of discussions on various topics. I was invited to contribute to a panel whose title was: “I’ve Written My Book – Now What?” It provided experiences and thoughts by some of us who’ve written books and asked ourselves “what the heck should I do next?” I mostly kept my mouth shut and learned from a very experienced group of panelists/writers: Kathleen M. Rodgers, best-selling author of Seven Wings to Glory and The Final Salute; John D. Trudel, himself a best-selling author of Raven’s Run and The Lone Wolf Agenda; and last, but certainly not least, panel moderator Don Helin, a 2017 MWSA winner for his mystery/thriller Angel’s Revenge. I’m mentioning these books because I think you should put them on your “to read” list. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

As Don noted, the period after completing the manuscript is one of the most frustrating times for writers. And John stated, “I think it easier these days to get published, but much harder to become visible, to get noticed.”  Even Kathleen noted that “despite my 40+ years in the writing business, I still feel like a beginner every time I sit down to work.”

The last night of the conference was highlighted by the awards banquet. MWSA recognizes and awards authors in a variety of genres, both fiction and non-fiction. It was a night of good food, good wine and good conversation. Oh, and my tearful acceptance of a Silver Medal for The Oath.

If you are a veteran who writes (or is thinking about writing), or a non-veteran, but who writes about things “military,” then I urge you to find out what the MSWA offers by clicking here:  As we like to say, we’re “SAVING HISTORY ONE STORY AT A TIME.”


An Affair to Remember – “The Oath” Awarded MWSA Silver Medal

Military Writers Society of America

Some of you are probably too young to recall the movie An Affair to Remember, starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. If you haven’t seen it, I recommend you check it out on Turner Classic Movies. It’s said to be the most romantic movie of all time. A real tear-jerker.

What, you ask, does a Cary Grant film have to do with my novel being awarded a Silver Medal by the prestigious Military Writers Society of America a week ago? Well for me it was, indeed, an affair to remember (and, since I choked up when the award was announced, I guess you could also say it was a real tear-jerker). Continue reading